Learning
Product Design and Technology

 

Why Study Product Design and Technology?

Designers play an important part in our daily lives. They determine the form and function of the products we use and transform ideas into drawings and plans for the creation of products that fulfil human needs and wants. Students also consider sustainability issues. Students consider the consequences of product design choices, and develop skills to critically analyse existing products and develop their own creative solutions. VCE Product Design and Technology offers students a range of career pathways in design in fields such as industrial, transport, service, interior and exhibition, engineering, fashion, furniture, jewellery, textile and ceramics, at both professional and vocational levels. Moreover, VCE Product Design and Technology informs sustainable behaviours and develops technical skills enabling students to present multiple solutions to everyday life situations. It contributes to developing creative problem solvers and project managers well-equipped to deal with the multidisciplinary nature of modern workplaces.

Structure
The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Sustainable product redevelopment

Unit 2: Collaborative design

Unit 3: Applying the product design process

Unit 4: Product development and evaluation

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study. 

 

Unit 1: Sustainable product redevelopment

This unit focuses on the analysis, modification and improvement of a product design with consideration of sustainability. It is common for designers in Australia to use products from overseas as inspiration when redeveloping products for the domestic market. Sustainable redevelopment refers to designers and makers ensuring products serve social, economic and environmental needs. Generating economic growth for design and manufacturing in Australia can begin with redeveloping existing products so they have positive social and minimal environmental impact. In this unit students examine claims of sustainable practices by designers. Students consider the sustainability of an existing product, such as the impact of sourcing materials, manufacture, distribution, use and likely disposal. They consider how a redeveloped product should attempt to solve a problem related to the original product. Where possible, materials and manufacturing processes used should be carefully selected to improve the overall sustainability of the redeveloped product.

Area of Study 1
Sustainable redevelopment of a product

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and plan the redevelopment of a product with the intention of developing a different product with consideration of sustainability issues.

Area of Study 2
Producing and evaluating a redeveloped product

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to select and apply materials, tools, equipment and processes to make a redeveloped product, and compare this with the original product.

 

Unit 2: Collaborative design

 In this unit students work in teams to design and develop an item in a product range or contribute to the design, planning and production of a group product. They focus on factors including end-user/s’ needs and wants; function, purpose and context for product design; aesthetics; materials and sustainability; and the impact of these factors on a design solution. Teamwork encourages communication between students and mirrors professional design practice where designers often work within a multi-disciplinary team to develop solutions to design problems. Students also use digital technologies to facilitate teams to work collaboratively online. In this unit students gain inspiration from an historical or a contemporary design movement or style and its defining factors such as ideological or technological change, philosophy or aesthetics.

Area of Study 1
Designing within a team

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and plan a product or range of products collaboratively in response to a design brief.

Area of Study 2
Producing and evaluating within a team

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to justify, manage and use appropriate production processes to make a product safely and evaluate individually and as a member of a team, the processes and materials used and the suitability of a product or components of a group product/s against the design brief.

 

Unit 3: Applying the product design process

In this unit students are engaged in the design and development of a product that addresses a personal, local, or global problem (such as humanitarian issues), or that meets the needs and wants of a potential end-user/s. The product is developed through a design process and is influenced by a range of factors including the purpose, function and context of the product; user-centred design; innovation and creativity; design elements and principles; sustainability concerns; economic limitations; legal responsibilities; material characteristics and properties; and technology. Design and product development and manufacture occur in a range of settings. An industrial setting provides a marked contrast to that of a one-off situation in a small cottage industry or a school setting. Although a product design process may vary in complexity or order, it is central to all of these situations regardless of the scale or context. This unit examines different settings and takes students through the product design process as they design for an end-user/s. Students identify methods which could be used in a low-volume or mass/high-volume production setting to manufacture a similar product to their design. In the initial stage of the product design process a design brief is prepared, outlining the context or situation around the design problem and describing the needs and requirements in the form of constraints or considerations.

Area of Study 1
Designing for end-user/s

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to investigate and define a design problem, and discuss how the design process leads to product design development.

Area of Study 2
Product development in industry

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain and analyse influences on the design, development and manufacture of products within industrial settings.

Area of Study 3
Designing for others

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to document the product design process used to meet the needs of an end-user/s, and commence production of the designed product.

 

Unit 4: Product development and evaluation

In this unit students engage with an end-user/s to gain feedback throughout the process of production. Students make comparisons between similar products to help evaluate the success of a product in relation to a range of product design factors. The environmental, economic and social impact of products throughout their life cycle can be analysed and evaluated with reference to the product design factors.

Area of Study 1
Product analysis and comparison

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare, analyse and evaluate similar commercial products, taking into account a range of factors and using appropriate techniques.

Area of Study 2
Product manufacture

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply a range of production skills and processes safely to make the product designed in Unit 3, and manage time and resources effectively and efficiently.

Area of Study 3
Product evaluation

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to evaluate the finished product through testing and feedback against criteria, create end-user/s’ instructions or care labels and recommend improvements to future products.

 

Assessment 

Satisfactory Completion  

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit.

Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2  

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.  

Units 3 and 4 

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

Percentage contributions to the study score in Product Design and Technology are as follows:

School-assessed Coursework (Units 3 and 4) 20%
School-assessed Task (Units 3 and 4) 50%
End-of-year examination 30%